WORK IN GRAND JUNCTION.
Maoriland Worker, Volume 2, Issue 28, 15 September 1911, Page 6
WORK IN GRAND JUNCTION.
' CONTRACT SYSTEM CONDEMNED. Evidence regarding the Grand Junction mine, Waihi, was given before the Mines Commission. Messrs W. F. Grace (general manager) and W. Mc- Comachie (mine manager) represented the company. Witnesses representing the Waihi Miners' Union were called, the first being Linton Moore, for 15 years a miner, and now employed in the Grand Junction mine. He held that" a standard quality of air should be established, as being a matter of much importance. Tests for dust and gases should be the first consideration. In , the end the dust would kill every man who worked in it. He considered that "poppers" (a small boring machine) should be abolished altogether, as they caxised dust. The use of water with rock drills should be made compulsory. The height of stopes should not exceed Bft. or Oft. from the mullock. A standard of 80deg. dry bulb should be fixed as a temperature. He believed that many misfires were caused by faulty detonators, and thought the Government should take up the matter of the supply with a view of preventing the sale of an inferior article. Witness believed in certain cases that if a shot-firer had been operating an accident would not have occurred. To Mr. Dowgray: Witness considered that shot-firers should be appointed, whose duties would be to fence off the scene of miss-holes, thus minimising the risk of accident. To Mr. Reed: Witness thought that some means could be adopted to render the air purer in the stopes. There were no complaints about gases in the mine, except as regards the fumes which followed the explosions. John Gaynor, working in the Grand Junction • mine, considered that the sanitary arrangements in places were not adequate. To Mr. Parry: The Junction mine was much better to-day than some six months ago. The contract system was responsible for the major portion of the accidents in Waihi. The men rushed about in their efforts to make a living under this system. The Chairman: Do you blame the contract sj'stem or the contract price?" Witness considered that if there was a higher price the risk would no doubt be minimised, but he thought that the contract system should be abolished altogether. Evidence was given by J. S. Spearing, H. Burgess, C. Coglan, and T. Franklin. J. L. Gilmour, manager of the Waihi mine, recalled, supplied data as to his records and readings of air in the Waihi mne. In answer to Mr. Reed, witness said that the air given off by the drilling machines would equal 2000 cubic feet per minute. This was in addition to the amount of air as given privously by him as circulating through the mine. The mineowners' representatives were then examined, W. McConachie, manager of the Grand Junction mine, being first sworn. Witness said he had 20 years' experience of mining, and had held a manager's certificate for about 11 years. The management was doing all that was possible to provide satisfactory ventilation. He considered that the connection of contiguous mines would improve ventilation. He did not favour a standard temperature. Pure air was, in his opinion, a matter of greater importance than temperature. Frequently he had found that the men worked more comfortably in places with the temperature at 90deg. than others where the temperature was at 80deg., the air not being so pure in the latter case. Witness considered that stopes should not exceed 10ft. in height, this being what they endeavoured to make the maximum height in the Junction mine. He saw no reason why an extra enginedriver should be engaged while the winding of men was being proceeded with.